[lit-ideas] Re: "Patience on a Monument"

  • From: David Ritchie <ritchierd@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Thu, 16 Sep 2004 12:34:23 -0700

on 9/16/04 7:03 AM, Michael Chase at goya@xxxxxxx wrote:

M.C. Interesting, but perhaps a little too *recherch=E9*. I think R.=20
Morel was right all along

> Voila. With regard to the argument that emblem books are too =
> osbcure=20
> to be Shakespeare's source, I say: Balderdash. There's lots of stuff=20
> that is obscure in Shakespeare, and Renaissance artists used emblem=20
> books as their sources all the time.

To accuse a Brit of mixing beer and buttermilk--making balderdash--is harsh
indeed, a crime of comparable heartlessness--as Mike Geary implies--to Basil
Fawlty attacking his car.

There is but one recourse, to reach for the book of counter-insults, "you
are dog-fox not proved worth a blackberry, a mute contemplative, a queen of
curds and cream, a callat of boundless tongue, a gentleman of the shade, a
nest of hollow bosoms, a toast-and-butter, a very forward March-chick, a
passy measures pavin, a pebble stone, a breeder of dire events, a
wide-chapp'd rascal, a minute-Jack, a malapert, a Jack-a-lent, the
shallowest thickskin of a barren sort, a flouting Jack, a piece of valiant
dust, a clod of wayward marl, an outward-sainted deputy, a Banbury cheese, a
cullionly barbermonger, a whimpled boy, a mad misleader, a homely swain, a
tattered prodigal, a hilding fellow, a hunt counter, an agate-ring, a
stuffed cloakbag of guts, an irregulous devil, a groundling, a breeder of

Enough.  Kicking a man who is already a'bed is strangely troublesome.

In truth we disagree little.  That Shakespeare may have referred to the
emblem book seems plausible.  I suggest only that the chances of the
illiterate and "lightly literate" segments of the audience enjoying this
joke were much improved by a change of memorial custom.  To me it seems very
likely that they knew what was new in local churches, more likely than the
possibility that they were versed in the contents of any book.

David Ritchie
Portland, Oregon


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